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Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: House Of Cards

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series


STRONG EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Drama Series, Best Lead Actor (Kevin Spacey), Best Lead Actress (Robin Wright)

QUESTION ONE: Will House of Cards earn a second Best Drama Series Emmy nomination?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekly Fantasy Baseball Update (May 24 - May 30)


George Springer (HOU) OF

After an extremely slow start, the young Houston phenom is just destroying the crap out of the ball recently. He's led all major leaguers in home runs (6), runs (11), and RBI's (14) while hitting above .400 over the past 7 days. Springer already has double digit home runs on the year, walking at least 10% of the time, and he's going to be really, really good sooner rather than later. I'm sure he was already owned in any keeper league, but he's only 81% owned in Yahoo! leagues. The fact that he's not 100% is absurd to me.


Anibal Sanchez (DET) SP

There were a lot of great pitchers I could have gone with (King Felix, Chris Archer, Zack Wheeler), but I decided to go with the Detroit great. On the 23rd against the Rangers, Sanchez went 7 innings striking out five, walking none, while only giving up two earned runs. Five days later, in Oakland, Sanchez went 8.1 innings, struck out nine, walked one, gave up one ER, and would have gotten his second win of the week (and given up 0 ERs) if Joe Nathan was good at his job. Sanchez boasts a 2.49 ERA for the year with a FIP just a touch below that, striking out 8.5 batters for every 9 innings, and will be a top 15 starting if he's healthy (albeit is a big "if").

2014 Emmy Questions: Breaking Bad

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Drama Series, Best Actor (Bryan Cranston), Best Supporting Actor (Aaron Paul), Best Supporting Actress (Anna Gunn), Best Director (Vince Gilligan, "Felina"), Best Screenplay (Vince Gilligan, "Felina")

STRONG, EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Best Supporting Actor (Dean Norris), Best Director (Rian Johnson, "Ozymandias"), Best Screenplay (George Mastras, "To'hajilee")

QUESTION ONE: How many Emmy's will Breaking Bad win?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Modern Family

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Comedy Series, Best Supporting Actress (Julie Bowen), Best Supporting Actress (Sophia Vergara), Best Supporting Actor (Ed O'Neill), Best Supporting Actor (Ty Burrell), Best Supporting Actor (Jesse Tyler Ferguson)

EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Best Supporting Actor (Eric Stonestreet), Best Director (Gail Mancuso, "My Hero"), Best Director (Beth McCarthy-Miller, "A Hard Jay's Night")

QUESTION ONE: Will Eric Stonestreet earn a nomination this year?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Mad Men

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Drama Series,  Best Lead Actor (Jon Hamm), Best Lead Actress (Elizabeth Moss)

STRONG, EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Best Supporting Actress (Christina Hendricks), Best Screenplay (Semi Chellas, "The Strategy"), Best Screenplay (Carly Wray & Matthew Weiner "Waterloo")

QUESTION ONE: Will Elizabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks earn a nomination this year?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2014 Emmy Preview: Downton Abbey

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Drama Series, Best Actor (Hugh Bonneville), Best Actress (Michelle Dockery), Best Supporting Actress (Maggie Smith), Best Supporting Actor (Jim Carter)

STRONG EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Best Supporting Actress (Joanne Froggatt)

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have seen the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, and I am not a fan. I was never a fan, but I continued to watch because the show continued to get Emmy nominations. However, this is a show that is not meant for me. I am a 27 year old male. I have female co-workers who love this show, and my parents love this show, but this show is not meant for me. However, this is a post about whether, objectively speaking, Downton Abbey can earn Emmy nominations, and my personal; feelings are irrelevant to that notion.

QUESTION ONE: Will Downton Abbey lose their dominance this year?

Monday, May 26, 2014

10 Questions For Season 2 Of Orange Is The New Black

Every episode of Season 2 of Orange Is The New Black gets released on Netflix on June 6th. I just re-watched Season 1 (again) in preparation for the upcoming season, which is only 10 days away. The first season got me psyched up for more episodes. It also purposefully left a lot of things open-ended in preparation for its second season. Here are 10 Questions For Season 2 of Orange Is The New Black:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

2014 Weekly TV Recap (May 18 - 24)


Sunday May 18

Game of Thrones (HBO), Episode 7 "Mockingbird"

Brief Description: "Mockingbird" is the bridge between the excellent "The Laws of Gods and Men" (aka the Trial of Tyrion Lannister) and whatever bombshell the show decided to drop upon us soon during the Season 4 penultimate episode. So as a result, there was no reason to expect "Mockingbird" to be as great as it was. Was it as good as last week's episode? Not at all, but it doesn't have to be. While this episode mainly exists as a set up to the Trial By Combat between Oberyn Martell and The Mountain, we still get many fantastic moments like the two scenes where Jamie and Bronn visit Tyrion, the monologue why The Hound is afraid of fire, and, oh yeah, the scene where Mayor Carcetti drops Lysa out of the Moon Roof. 

Mad Men (AMC), Episode 6 "The Strategy"

Brief Description: The very ending shot of "The Strategy" was just brilliant. Don and Peggy are sitting on one side of the table acting as the de facto Mother and Father while Pete Campbell sits on the other side of the table, getting sauce all over his face, acting as the de facto child. The camera then pans away from this "family" and the shot looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. This shot was so incredible because for all the talk about family in this episode and considering the nuclear family for each one of these characters is either failing (Don) or already dead (Pete) or non-existent (Peggy), these characters are a family. These characters are why we (or at least I) tune in every week. Peggy discusses (over drinks of course) about the idea of what exactly a family is and how it doesn't exist anymore. In 2014, we think back to this area and probably think about Leave It To Beaver. But the family that the advertising world portrays (both then and now) never truly existed. Each family is different and unique. That's what makes Mad Men so unique as well. The 1960's aren't a cliche and they certainly didn't happen the way we think it did to every single person. The counter culture certainly affected many people, but there's always been people like Don Draper who will never change as the culture does. By far and away "The Strategy" was the best episode Mad Men has done this season.

Silicon Valley (HBO), Episode 7 "Proof of Concept"

Brief Description: I have the firm belief that no matter how good a final episode is, it can't change the way I feel about the season as a whole. A great season can have a terrible finale (i.e. Season 1 of Homeland) and a terrible season can have a great finale (i.e. Season 2 of House of Cards). The last episode is irrelevant because you watch a television series as a whole, not just for one episode. It's about the journey, not the destination. With that in mind and having watched 7 of the first 8 episodes of Silicon Valley, I have decided that I will no longer be watching the show anymore. I have seen what the show is and how it works, and it's frankly not for me. I can't stand the main character and there's just not enough jokes to make me want to come back to it. I'll watch the finale of Silicon Valley, and it could be great (in fact, I hope it is), but that will be the last episode I watch.

Tuesday May 20

Fargo (FX), Episode 6 "Buridan's Ass"

Brief Description: Buridan's Ass is a paradox about free will. In the paradox, a donkey is dying of both hunger and thirst. It is placed equidistant between a bundle of hey and a pale of water. Since the donkey can't rationally choose which foodstuff to go towards first, the donkey dies. While this week of Fargo doesn't even remotely make it clear how this scenario relates to the show, I'd like to think that there's just a greater force in this fictional universe that no matter what you think you can do, your fate is already decided for you and you're going to die anyway because of it. However, after thinking about it for four days, the only conclusion that I can come up with is that Molly is Buridan's Ass. She's the only character that has to choose between two needs, in her case, being a damn good cop and making sure Lester Nygaard gets brought to justice. Last week we saw Molly illegally break into Lester's place in an attempt to find the hammer Lester used to kill his wife, and I think that was the last straw. Therefore, with Molly's inability to choose between her two needs, she dies. In terms of storytelling, Molly needs to be the hero to bring both Lester and Molvo to justice. And actress Allison Tolman strongly insinuated to Grantland earlier this week that Molly lives, but I worry that my worst fear has come true, and Gus Grimly did kill Molly.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pitchers With The Greatest ERA/FIP Splits

FIP stands for Fielding Independent Statistics. It's one of the best statistics to determine how good a pitcher truly is by taking his defense behind him out of the equation. However, things the pitcher can control like walks and home runs are taken into account. Generally speaking, if a pitcher has a FIP higher than his ERA, his ERA will rise and if his FIP is lower than his ERA, his ERA will drop. Here's a list of pitchers with the greatest ERA/FIP splits.

2014 Emmy Questions: Mom

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series


STRONG EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Best Lead Comedy Actress (Anna Faris), Best Supporting Comedy Actress (Allison Janney)

QUESTION ONE: Will Anna Faris earn an Emmy nomination?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekly Fantasy Baseball Update (May 17 - May 23)


Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) 1B/3B

The Toronto Blue Jays slugger finally did what he was supposed to- hit home runs. He had two multi-HR days this week and hit a total of 5 home runs in the past 7 days. leading all baseball players. After a slow start, Encarnacion is finally coming around. The Blue Jays Bomber is now t-3rd in total home runs and is 4th in the league in fly ball percentage behind Chris Carter, Brandon Hicks, and Yoenis Cespedes. Encarncion has a good chance to lead the league in home runs when it's all said and done.

2014 Emmy Questions: Orange Is The New Black

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Comedy Series, Best Actress (Taylor Schilling), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Mulgrew), Multiple Guest Actor Nominations

STRONG, EDUCATED GUESSES: Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Pablo Schreiber), Another Best Supporting Actress nomination

QUESTION ONE: Did Netflix make the right decision by making OITNB a comedy as opposed to a drama?

Ranking The Potential 2014 Song of the Summer Candidates

5) Calvin Harris "Summer"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: True Detective

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Drama Series, Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Director (Cary Joji Fukunaga for "Who Goes There")

STRONG EDUCATED GUESSES: Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson), Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Monaghan), Best Screenplay (Nick Pizzolatto for "The Long Bright Dark")

QUESTION ONE: Will being eligible for a Drama Series as opposed to a Mini-Series hurt True Detective's nominations?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Is Aaron Harang Really This Good?

The 36 year old Atlanta Braves pitcher currently has an ERA under 3.00, is tied for 16th in the majors in strike outs (tied with James Shields and Madison Bumgarner), has a WHIP under 1.20, and, as of the writing of this post, is the 25th best starting pitcher in fantasy baseball (according to Yahoo!). At the very beginning of the season, Yahoo! barely had Harang ranked as a top 150 pitcher. How can a pitcher ranked so low do so well now? And can he keep up this pace?

Let's start by looking at Aaron Harang's career numbers. He has a career 4.24 ERA. His ERA was 5.40 last year and around 3.60 in 2012 and 2011 when he also played for an NL team in a pitcher-friendly home ballpark. Harang has a career 7.35 K/9 and he's never had a K/9 above 8.50 in his career. His K/9 in 2014 is 9.77- 14th best in the majors right now. So he clearly can't keep up this pace, right? RIGHT?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Fargo

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Mini-Series or Movie, Best Lead Actor (Billy Bob Thornton), Best Lead Actor (Martin Freeman), Best Lead Actress (Alison Tolman), Best Supporting Actor (Colin Hanks), Best Screenplay (Noah Hawley)

EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Best Director (Adam Bernstein)

QUESTION ONE: Will Fargo be considered a Drama Series or a Mini Series?

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Top 10 Films of Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen's newest hit comedy, Neighbors, was recently released just in time to help kick off the summer movie season. It's projected to make about 150 million dollars domestically and it's certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. I personally saw this movie last night and I'm still laughing about it today. In fact, in just might come up a little later... Anyways, in honor of Seth Rogen's newest film, I present to you The Top 10 Films of Seth Rogen.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

4 Reasons FOX Is Going To Dominate TV This Fall

The four major networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, & FOX, recently had their upfronts and released to the world (though mainly to their advertisers) the new shows that will be slated to premiere come this fall (or during mid-season when networks cancel many of these hot, new shows). This post was going to be dedicated to all the new and exciting shows that I was pumped up about. But then a funny thing happened, there was only a handful shows I was excited to see and they all seemed to come from one network: FOX.

Besides seemingly creating quality programming, FOX did something else bold and creative this season: they got rid of pilot season. So instead of watching a pilot and getting sucked in for a few episodes before the network yanks the rug right out underneath you like Lucy playing football with Charlie Brown and ruins the time you invested in a program, you can actually watch a show and follow it all the way through until the end. This is not necessarily that novel of an approach as cable networks like FX and HBO have been doing this for a few years now, but it is revolutionary to see a network staple like FOX do something this daring. So both in honor of a major network getting rid of an archaic notion (at least for now) as well as creating shows that just look awesome, here are 4 Reasons FOX Is Going To Dominate TV This Fall:

2014 TV Weekly Recap (May 11 - May 17)


Fargo (FX), Episode 4 "Eating The Blame"

Brief Description: Since I missed watching last week's Fargo, I'm going to move up the "Mid-Season Catch Up" section so I can discuss Fargo in chronological order. I thought "Eating The Blame" was a slight step back from the previous episode "A Muddy Road". After spending a week focusing on Malvo, Lester, and Deputy Solverson, we get an episode that focused more on some of the secondary characters like Stavros and Gus Grimly. Plus, this episode spent much of the time having characters do the opposite of what makes them great. Malvo spends most of the episode pretending to be a minister, Lester actually does something smart by outwitting the Fargo gangsters, and Molly spends much of this episode on the sidelines. "Eating The Blame" also confirms that the TV show is in the same universe as the movie as Stavros in 1987 finds the briefcase full of money left behind by Carl. I'm not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, I loved the nod to the movie, and the car driving down the long, snowy road was perfect, but at the same time, Fargo the TV show had just spent 2 episodes distinguishing itself from the movie and then goes ahead to remind you, "Hey! this is totally based upon the movie."

Arrow (CW), Episode 8 "The Scientist"

Brief Description: Episode 8 of Arrow is the introduction of a character named Barry Allen. If this promo or this promo didn't give anything away, the name Barry Allen is pretty well-known in the superhero universe. We still need to "see what happens" with the S.T.A.R. Labs experiment that I imagine will happen in the next episode, but as far as an origin episode for The Flash in a series about Oliver Queen goes, it was solid. I obviously knew this was coming and I know the show will soon add another well-known name in the DC universe to the show. I don't mind this detour Arrow is taking because filling a 23-episode order can be tough to do. What I am looking forward to is the aftermath of Slade taking the magical elixir in "The Scientist" and having him transform into Deathstroke.

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Homeland

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Best Actress (Claire Danes)

EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATION: Best Supporting Actor (Mandy Patinkin)

FULL DISCLAIMER: I have seen the first two seasons of Homeland, but I stopped watching its third season (the one that's Emmy eligible in 2014) four episodes into it because it was just not good anymore. I absolutely loved its rookie season and publicly applauded its Emmy wins, but Season 2 took a big step back for me and Season 3, well, you kind of know my thoughts on its third season. I'll do my best to make this post as objective, but...

QUESTION ONE: How many nominations will Homeland lose in 2014?

2014 Emmy Questions: Veep

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCK NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Comedy Series, Best Lead Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Best Supporting Actor (Tony Hale), Best Supporting Actress (Anna Chlumsky)

Full Disclaimer: I've seen the first season of Veep as well as the first half of the second season, but then I had to stop. I am not a fan of the show, and I just couldn't watch any more episodes. However, this post is an objective discussion of who will or won't get a nomination and my feelings are irrelevant. In fact, most shows I like don't get nomination and many shows I don't like do get nominated.

QUESTION ONE: Will Julia Louis-Dreyfus reign come to an end in 2014?

What Are The Odds To Win Three Acting Emmys In A Row?

In 2014, two actresses have a chance to three-peat; to earn three Emmy's in three consecutive years. Those actresses are Claire Danes for her work on Showtime's Homeland and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her work on HBO's Veep. Both actresses have won the past two years, and their nominations for 2014 are essentially a lock. The real question is not whether they'll be nominated, but whether they'll win.

In order to help answer this question, I scrolled through the entire history of all the acting nominations (both lead and supporting) the Primetime Emmy's have ever given out. While truthfully, the entire history of the Emmy's has absolutely no bearing on whether Claire Danes or Julia Louis-Dreyfus will individually win this year, I think it's a fun place to start.

Here are the following rules I set up for this "study":
- The actor or actress has to earn a nomination from the same show in the same role
- The actor or actress has to be nominated in the same category all consecutive years
- The actor or actress has to have won in two consecutive years
- The actor or actress has to have earned a nomination in the third year directly following his or her two wins
- If an actor or actress actually does win 3 or 4 times in a row, their failure to win the next year isn't counted

All of the aforementioned criteria applies to Claire Danes and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I'm not looking to see if an actor or actress can win Emmy's in their lifetime, I'm looking to see how historically probable it is to win three in a row.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Boardwalk Empire

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series

COLD, HARD LOCKS:  Best Director (Tim Van Patten "Farewell Daddy Blues")

EDUCATED GUESS:  Best Supporting Actor (Jeffrey Wright)

QUESTION ONE: Will Boardwalk Empire gain back any of the nominations it lost in 2013?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Orphan Black

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series



Full disclaimer: I have only seen one episode of Orphan Black, the pilot, and I was not a fan. However, I will not let my bias come into play here, as this post is an objective discussion about who will get nominated and win. In fact, most of the shows I like don't win and shows I don't like do win. Plus, with Orphan Black, there really is only one important question that needs to be asked:

QUESTION ONE: Will Tatiana Maslany get an Emmy nomination?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Click here for the introduction to The Cover 3's "2014 Emmy Questions" series


STRONG EDUCATED GUESS NOMINATIONS: Outstanding Comedy Series, Best Actor (Andy Samberg), Best Director (Phil Lord), Best Screenplay

QUESTION ONE: How will the Emmys treat Brooklyn Nine-Nine come nomination time?

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Post-NFL Draft Fantasy Football Rankings


1) Aaron Rodgers (GB)
2) Peyton Manning (DEN)
3) Drew Brees (NO)
4) Cam Newton (CAR)
5) Andrew Luck (IND)
6) Matthew Stafford (DET)
7) Robert Griffin III (WAS)
8) Tom Brady (NE)
9) Colin Kaepernick (SF)
10) Russell Wilson (SEA)
11) Nick Foles (PHI)
12) Matt Ryan (ATL)
13) Andy Dalton (CIN)
14) Philip Rivers (SD)
15) Jay Cutler (CHI)
16) Tony Romo (DAL)
17) Johnny Manziel (CLE)
18) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
19) Eli Manning (NYG)
20) Alex Smith (KC)
21) Jake Locker (TEN)
22) Carson Palmer (ARI)
23) Joe Flacco (BAL)
24) Josh McCown (TB)
25) Blake Bortles (JAX)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Emmy Questions: The Introduction

On July 10, 2014, the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Nominations will be announced. We here at The Cover 3 are huge award show fans, and love the Primetime Emmys. The vast majority of this blog is dedicated to our love of T.V. and the Emmys are just one of the outlets we use to discuss our passion for television.

For the next two months, we will talking about all things Emmys as they relate to particular T.V. shows, including, but not limited to: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Brooklyn 99, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, Modern Family, Orange Is The New Black, Shameless, and True Detective. Every now and then a new post will be released related to how a particular show will fair come Emmy nomination time.

Click here for our recap of the extremely early predictions on who will earn an Emmy nomination. Enjoy!



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Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 Weekly TV Recap (May 4 - May 10)


Sunday May 4

Game of Thrones (HBO), Episode 5 "First of His Name"

Brief Description: Hands down, the three best Game of Thrones episodes have been "Baelor", "Blackwater", and "The Rains of Castamere". Those three episodes were the penultimate episodes of Seasons 1, 2, & 3 respectively. The second to last episode of every season of Game of Thrones is the explosion to what the season has built up towards. I have no doubt that the same will hold true for Season 4 of the show. But in order to build up to this big event, we need to have episodes like "First of His Name" to move chess pieces on the board. And like the middle of the past few seasons, "First of His Name" is pretty dull. The show has done a great job building up Dany, and this week it gave her an out to go fight for the Iron Throne in Westeros, but instead, she's going to go back and mull around in Essos. Last week we got a glimpse of the White Walkers threat, but they've been mulling around in the North for so long and get so little screen time, that they barely seem like a credible threat at this point in the series as well. For all the talks of the threat to the Lannister's power, that's all they have been: "talk". Now, I said the same thing at this time last year, and the season turned out quite alright, so I'm confident I'll enjoy the show by season's end. I'll power through these "pawn mover" episodes because I know it'll eventually lead to a check mate. Plus, no Tyrion and almost no Jamie this episode, so a dull episode feels even duller. 

Mad Men (AMC), Episode 4 "The Monolith"

Brief Description: The title of this week's Mad Men is purposefully meant to evoke thoughts of Stanley Kubrick's classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" which every reviewer of course has to bring up in their review. The only reason I'm even bringing it up is because I think both Mad Men right now and the Kubrick film have this in common: they are genius works of art that are quite frankly boring to watch. I had the "luxury" of watching "2001" for the first time only a few years ago, so admittedly my perspective on the film is tainted. But even still, the entire movie is not enjoyable to watch, and the end just goes off the rails. Mad Men feels like it's going off the rails in its later years. Not so much for being as out there and as symbolic and dramatic as "2001" was, but I think its glory days are behind it. I have constantly critiqued this show for feeling like a high school English assignment and I think "The Monolith" is a great representation of why. There's so much symbolism and things to analyze, that it's easy to fill up an entire online review even though nothing happened on the show. Yet at the same time, watching is starting to feel like homework. I think a lot of why I liked "Field Trip" so much was because it reminded me of the days where Mad Men would actually *do* something while also having characters we love to hate. As much as I hate Betty Draper and the old, weasely Pete Campbell, I needed them to balance out the show. Since Season 5 of the show, nothing really has happened, which just makes the show dull with the appearance of bright lights.

Silicon Valley (HBO), Episode 5 "Signaling Risk"

Brief Description: It's no coincidence that the best episode of Silicon Valley's rookie season is the episode where you see the least amount of the show's main character Richard. Plus, what little you see of Richard, you at least see him being authoritative and taking charge. There's humor in T.J. Miller's Erlich and others bossing Richard around, but it's mostly annoying. Instead, what "Signaling Risk" does is create a low risk story line that not only allows its characters to just be funny, it also advances the plot. The A story line of this episode is Erlich paying a local graffiti artist (who initially wants to be paid in stock options) to create a logo for Pied Piper, while the B story line is of Peter Gregory demanding Richard and his company to present at the TechCrunch Disrupt. I imagine the season finale will be Pied Piper's presentation at the conference, and hopefully we'll get a better sense of just how rewarding it will be of Richard to start his own company. But until then, we'll get little funny moments like Gilfoyle and Dinesh arguing with each other, which is really what makes this show. Kumail Nanjiani's face at the end of the episode when he couldn't go outside to see the logo because he was in competition with Gulfoyle was laugh out loud amazing.

Lastly, on a more somber note, "Signaling Risk" will be the last episode in which we'll see Christopher Evan Welch's Peter Gregory because the actor died while in production. While Peter didn't have a lot to do in this episode, his awkward conversation with Gavin Belson was fantastic. I also imagine Welch's death will bring the show's only female star, Amanda Crew's Monica, more into prominence- which will be a refreshing change of pace.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fantasy Impact of the NFL Draft First Round

The first round of the NFL's first round of its amateur draft is done and in the books. In theory, every team (who drafted, which was not all of them) improved their real life team. But an improvement in a real life team doesn't necessarily impact a fantasy team. Here are some fantasy impacts of the NFL Draft first round:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5 Recent Nominees Who Undeservingly Failed To Win An Emmy

Steve Carrel

Emmy Nomination: 6 Best Actor, 3 Outstanding Comedy Series

Why It's Egregious He Hasn't Won: The Office is one of the best comedy shows that has ever existed and Steve Carrel's portrayal of Michael Scott is just genius. The character of Michael Scott is both unlikable and likable at the exact same time. He is a childish and selfish ass, but is a damn fine salesmen and just wants everybody to like him. Even though he makes mistakes that make you cringe because he's so awkward, you still want this oaf of a man to win. After all the horrible things Michael Scott has done, you still root for him. Very few actors could have successfully pulled off Michael Scott, yet Carrel was able to do it.

Carrel lost Best Actor (Comedy) once to Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and Rocky Gervais (Extras) and twice to Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory). I think you can make a legitimate argument that Carrel should have lost in his first five years, but not winning in his final year on The Office is inexcusable. Not only did Jim Parsons not need a second Emmy (Plus, he would undeservingly later go on to win again in 2013), but Carrel did his best acting during his last season on The Office/The Michael Scott Farewell Tour.

Sofia Vergara / Ed O'Neill / Jesse Tyler Ferguson 

Emmy Nominations: 4 Best Supporting Actress (Vergara), 3 Best Supporting Actor (O'Neill), & 4 Best Supporting Actor (Ferguson)

Why It's Egregious They Haven't Won: I'm conflicted about Modern Family. When it first came out, I absolutely loved it. But then as it started to get more popular and just dominating the Awards scene, I backed off of the show. I also felt like the ABC sitcom was repeating the same tropes. I got off the bandwagon once it started getting too crowded. I think I've come full circle now and have accepted (and realized) that Modern Family is just a damn funny show. I don't know that it deserves the amount of praise it gets, but that doesn't mean it's not funny.

As I mentioned earlier, Modern Family just destroys the Awards circuit. Every adult actor on the show has earned an Emmy nomination each of the last four years, with the exception of Ed O'Neill who didn't get a nomination in his first year because he "selfishly" threw his name in the Best Actor category instead of the Best Supporting Actor category. Modern Family has also won many Emmys, including 5 in acting categories. Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen each have two golden statutes and Ty Burrell has one. The issue though, is that no actor on Modern Family does inherently better than the other.

Taking aside the notion that for some reason the adult actors get nominations while none of the child actor are deemed worthy, there's nothing that separates one adult actor from the other. There's nothing Julie Bowen does so spectacularly better than Sophia Vergara (speaking English aside). In fact, Vergara's absence seems the most egregious, because she only has to compete against one other Modern Family star whereas the boys have to compete against three. However, if the Emmys are going to say that a Modern Family actor deserves to win (which I can begrudgingly get on board with), then they should spread the wealth. I believe that once a Modern Family actor wins an Emmy, they shouldn't be eligible to win until everyone else has won at least once. Surprisingly, the Emmy's seemingly got on board with this notion as Eric Stonestreet failed to earn a nomination last year.

If Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, and Julie Bowen are Emmy winners, then there's no reason that Sofia Vergara, Ed O'Neill, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson should also be winners.

2014 Pre-NFL Draft Fantasy Football Rankings


1) Peyton Manning (DEN)
2) Aaron Rodgers (GB)
3) Drew Brees (NO)
4) Andrew Luck (IND)
5) Cam Newton (CAR)
6) Robert Griffin III (WAS)
7) Matthew Stafford (DET)
8) Tom Brady (NE)
9) Colin Kaepernick (SF)
10) Russell Wilson (SEA)
11) Nick Foles (PHI)
12) Matt Ryan (ATL)
13) Andy Dalton (CIN)
14) Philip Rivers (SD)
15) Jay Cutler (CHI)
16) Tony Romo (DAL)
17) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
18) Matt Schaub (OAK)
19) Eli Manning (NYG)
20) Alex Smith (KC)
21) Jake Locker (TEN)
22) Ryan Tannehill (MIA)
23) Carson Palmer (ARI)
24) Joe Flacco (BAL)
25) Josh McCown (TB)


1) Adrian Peterson (MIN)
2) Jamaal Charles (KC)
3) LeSean McCoy (PHI)
4) Marshawn Lynch (SEA)
5) Matt Forte (CHI)
6) Eddie Lacy (GB)
7) Reggie Bush (DET)
8) Arian Foster (HOU)
9) Zac Stacy (STL)
10) Montee Ball (DEN)
11) Doug Martin (TB)
12) Alfred Morris (WAS)
13) Le'Veon Bell (PIT)
14) Frank Gore (SF)
15) Giovani Bernard (CIN)
16) Shane Vereen (NE)
17) Rashad Jennings (NYG)
18) DeMarco Murray (DAL)
19) Ben Tate (CLE)
20) Fred Jackson (BUF)
21) C.J. Spiller (BUF)
22) Andre Ellington (ARI)
23) Maurice Jones-Drew (OAK)
24) Knowshon Moreno (MIA)
25) Steven Jackson (ATL)
26) Toby Gerhart (JAX)
27) Shonn Greene (TEN)
28) Ryan Mathews (SD)
29) Joique Bell (DET)
30) Chris Johnson (NYJ) 
31) Ray Rice (BAL)
32) Trent Richardson (IND)
33) Pierre Thomas (NO)
34) DeAngelo Williams (CAR)
35) Chris Ivory (NYJ)
36) BenJarvis Green-Ellis (CIN)
37) Darren Sproles (PHI)
38) Andre Brown (HOU)
39) Stevan Ridley (NE)
40) Danny Woodhead (SD)
41) Bernard Pierce (BAL)
42) Darren McFadden (OAK)
43) Lamar Miller (MIA)
44) Mark Ingram (NO)
45) Jonathan Stewart (CAR)
46) Bilal Powell (NYJ)
47) Donald Brown (SD)
48) LaGarrette Blount (PIT)
49) Dexter McCluster (TEN)
50) C.J. Anderson (DEN)

Monday, May 5, 2014

The First Gotham Trailer Looks Freaking Awesome

Unabashedly, I am an "Arrow" fan. Despite the fact that it's on the CW network and with that comes certain tropes like romantic triangles, over-the-top plot twists, and serialization, I still enjoy watching "Arrow". Because at the end of the day, "Arrow" is still a super hero show with a lead character that kicks ass. Even though I enjoy the show, I wish it was on a certain network- mainly FOX. FOX has a good track record of creating gritty shows that are enjoyable to watch. So to my delight when I found out tonight that FOX is doing their own version of "Arrow". Well, sort of. Watch the trailer below.

The Green Arrow character (although on the show he's just referred to as "The Vigilante" or "The Hood") is basically another version of Batman- a billionaire who tries to rid his dangerous city of crime by creating a superhero alter ego. FOX and DC Comics (who is also responsible for "Arrow") are doing a new take on "Arrow" with "Gotham". Notice it's not called "Batman" and it doesn't have "Dark Knight" in the title because this isn't Batman's story. This is Jim Gordon's story.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 Weekly TV Recap (April 27 - May 3)


Sunday April 27th

Game of Thrones (HBO), Episode 4 "Oathkeeper"

Brief Description: Recently I wrote a post about the 4 shows in competition for the title of the best show currently on television. If I had to cast my vote right now, I would probably cast it for Game of Thrones. Not only does it have the ability to be the most entertaining show on television, but it's one that is starting to weave in themes and consistency more and more. That's extremely tough to do considering David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have to tell the best story based upon George R.R. Martin's books first and foremost. But an episode like "Oathkeeper" does a great job of having characters live up to this title. From Brianne of Tarth keeping a promise to Jamie Lannister (from which the title of the show obviously gets its title from) to Daenerys doing what she can to free the slaves of Meeran as well as using editing to weave together seemingly random scenes (i.e. having Margie and Olenna talking about Cersei, smash cut to Cersei yelling at Jamie), Game of Thrones is contradicting its own motto that "themes are for 8th grade book reports".

 Mad Men (AMC), Episode 3 "Field Trip"

Brief Description: Another show in the running for being one of the best on television is Matthew Weiner's masterpiece. Even though not a whole lot has happened this season, "Field Trip" is my favorite episode so far. It's not nearly as thematically rich as "A Day's Work" or "Time Zones", but that's probably why I like it so much as "Field Trip" doesn't play out like a high school English assignment. After spending two episodes (and a handful of months in Mad Men time) in limbo, Don Draper finally goes back to work for Sterling Cooper (& Associates). I never understood why Don just didn't go to another firm (like what Jim Cutler wanted him to do) and we get an explanation here why. Don is still a partner and with that comes some hefty consequences if he's let go. We'll now get to see if Don Draper truly has changed, and if so, will that change bring enjoyment to the audience. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up the return of Betty. She was used in just the perfect small dose here to show us why we all hate her, yet need her around to mock.

Silicon Valley (HBO), Episode 4 "Fiduciary Duties"

Brief Description: It is very possible to have a successful sitcom without caring for the lead character and/or having the lead character being the least appealing of them all. Ted is by far the least appealing and most annoying out of the five friends in How I Met Your Mother. J.D. could be funny at times in Scrubs, but his annoying childish nature helped Turk, Kelso, Elliot, and Cox be funnier. This formula seems to be the success for Silicon Valley. Richard plays a bumbling nerd who has borderline Asperberger's (the farmer in last week's "Articles of Incorporation" even joked about that) who is tough to watch. A friend of mine asked me a few weeks ago why anti-heroes are so popular in television and mainstream, and Silicon Valley shows us why. We're so insecure in our own life, that we don't want to see the same thing on the screen. We use television for escapism, and we want to see the characters act out our inner most fantasies. That's why it can be nails-on-a-chalkboard frustrating to see Silicon Valley's main protagonist, Richard, be so cliche nerdy. But this archetype can work to help accentuate the supporting players around him, in this case played by T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, and Martin Short. All three are incredibly funny people, and their comedy stylings can be enjoyed more when compared to the straight man Richard. That's what made "Articles of Incorporation" so funny last week, and that's what made 'Fiduciary Duties" work this week, albeit to a lesser extent. "Duties" gives more power to T.J. Miller's Erlich by making him a board member of Pied Piper, and thereby increasing Miller's screen time. Erlich is also by far and away the most outgoing and social out of any member of this main cast, and giving Erlich and the comedy of T.J. Miller a chance to shine is always a plus.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Why Black Hawk Down Has The Deepest Movie Cast Of All Time

Considering how terrible Netflix streaming's overall selection is, one is forced to watch movies you've already seen before if you want to watch something good. Recently, I was watching Ridley Scott's classic from 2001, Black Hawk Down. It's a great movie, and hands down one of the best war movies of all time. Although as great as Black Hawk Down is, I kept looking at my phone throughout it. Not because I was bored or on Facebook while watching the flick, but because I kept having to see why a character looked so familiar! I was on so much, because, as it turns out, so many people from the film ended up doing bigger and better things. The film follows a team of 123 elite U.S. soldier in Somalia, and it seems as if 100 of those actors became famous. Below are some of the actors in the movie, and is further proof of why Black Hawk Down has the deepest movie cast of all time. The actors are in ascending order of least important in the film to most important.

Ty Burrell

Who He Is In The Film: Wilkinson, medical team

What He's Most Famous For: Phil Dunphy in Modern Family

More About Him: Burrell is an Emmy winner who is now household name thanks to the huge success of the ABC sitcom Modern Family. Black Hawk Down was one of the first things Burrell did in Hollywood and was just "one of those guys" between 2001 and 2009. Since Modern Family, Burrell has been in the films "Butter" and "Muppets Most Wanted"

Orlando Bloom

Who He Is In The Film: Blackburn, the new recruit who falls out of the helicopter at the beginning of the fighting

What He's Most Famous For: Legolas in the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings films

More About Him: Not only was Bloom a part of one of the most successful movie franchises in the history of American cinema playing the elf Legolas in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he also played Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy- another hugely successful franchise. After starring in the two franchises, Bloom went on to star in another Ridley Scott epic, Kingdom of Heaven, as well as the Cameron Crowe flick Elizabethtown. While his career has since dwindled a bit, he can still be seen the new Hobbit films reprising his role as Legolas. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

4 Famous Legal Cases You Know Nothing About

There are lots of famous legal cases that you read about: The Michael Vick dog fighting case. The Kobe Bryant rape case. The Phil Spector murder case. Many cases are either extremely straight forward that you need no explanation about it, or the case has been discussed so much in the media that you know all you need to know about the case. However, in many instances, the media doesn't tell you the entire story. Shocking, right? Here are examples of legal cases that you have absolutely heard of, but probably do not know all that much about the specifics. Below are 4 Famous Legal Cases You Know Nothing About:


What You Think You Know: Tonya Harding conspired with her husband to take out fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan.WHHHHHHYYYYYYYY?!

The Actual Facts: On January 6, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and clubbed in the knee while preparing for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. That attacker, Shane Stant, was hired by Shawn Eckhardt, Harding's bodyguard, and Jeff Gillooly, Harding's husband. Gillooly eventually pled guilty to one count of racketeering in exchange for two years in prison, $100,000 fine, and to testify against Tonya Harding.

What Harding Was Actually Charged With: Conspiring To Hinder The Prosecution

Despite Gillooly, Eckhardt, and basically everyone else in the world saying that Harding was involved from the get go planning the attack of Kerrigan, that's not actually what Harding was charged with. What Harding did admit to, and later pled guilty to, was lying to the prosecution because she learned about the attack after it happened, and didn't say anything about it.

While it's entirely possible that Harding knew of the attack before it happened, and helped mastermind it (although I use the word "mastermind" very loosely), she was never charged with planning the attack. In the documentary "The Price Of Gold", Harding is interviewed some 20 odd years later and still claims that she didn't know anything about the attack prior, although the documentary makes her come across extremely poorly.

To play Devil's Advocate, I will say this. It's not unreasonable to think that Tonya Harding had nothing to do with the attack. It's easy for guys like Jeff Gillooly and Shawn Eckhardt to say Harding was involved when you're getting a reduced sentence in exchange. However, it was not because Harding was involved from the beginning that she faced criminal charges and an expulsion from the U.S. Figure Skating Association, it was because of what she knew and didn't say after the attack occurred.